Sunday, August 31, 2014
Does God's Kindness Lead Us?
"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things. Now we know that God's judgement against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgement? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?"-Romans 2:1-4
That was a mouthful, I realize. I really just wanted to share that last sentence of the scripture, "..not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance." It needed the whole verse to give you the context, I think. I shared with you a scripture verse last week and it made my day to do that, so I'm doing it again.
I have been a Christian for about seventeen years now, but about eight years ago, I came across this scripture verse and it changed my point of view about a great many things. I guess you could say, life and people in general. When I came to Christ, there was a motivation to give my life to Christ; an urgency, if you will. The pastor made such a compelling argument for my soul and others there, I just felt naturally compelled to go down to the altar and accept Christ. I then began my journey into the Bible and learned as much as I could immediately. Just like many other new believers and those others to come, I soaked up the word and loved spending time with those who had been Christians for many years and asked lots of questions.
We all have probably made the same mistake I did. I assumed that most others had come to Christ in that same way; felt the need or urgency to give my life to the Lord. Or that there was a conviction that they felt in their spirit to confess wrong doing and to get right with the Lord.
After I read that scripture verse though, it changed my mind. I came to the realization that not everyone has the same story of salvation. I'm glad of that fact, to be honest. We are all unique individuals, fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of Christ. I personally LOVE the fact that it's God's kindness that leads us to repentance. So when we replace one of the words in the definition of, 'kindness' within the scripture verse, it makes even more sense; because of God's affection, we are led to repentance. Let that sink in for a moment.
It also led me to another realization about people, like I mentioned. I think it gave me a greater understanding of what it means to extend grace. Not everyone has the same likes and dislikes, and that's okay. Not only that, but my way of doing things isn't the only way of doing things. I think that is a hugely important thing for people to realize. That doesn't mean I'm preaching tolerance here by any means. Sin should still be called sin. I think though, that grace helps us to be respectful of others' preferences and their life decisions they may make.
I'm thankful that God fulfilled the law with his son Jesus and that we are now living under grace which defined is unmerited favor. If there's just one take away from this blog or scripture verse, I pray that the words grace and kindness are two that you store up for yourselves this week. Although we may feel a conviction in our spirit or a stirring in our souls, or desire that others would feel convicted to change, I pray that it is ultimately because God is kind and loving that we choose to give ourselves to Him.